Material Detail

Foniks - Learn to Read and Spell with Instant Sound?

Foniks - Learn to Read and Spell with Instant Sound?

Foniks is the world's first phonics course where learners can simply mouse over letters and words to hear them spoken - a significant advance in the teaching of reading. The course covers all stages from complete beginner to competent sentence-length reader. All the usual phonics sounds are covered, plus many other sounds from phonics' parent, phonetics. All pages can be printed out, including writing practice worksheets, and a concise teacher/parent guide is provided.


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Tim Bowyer
Tim Bowyer (null)
19 years ago
"Foniks" is a learn-to-read course where you can just mouse over letters and
words to hear them spoken - technologically not so hard, but a huge step forward
in the teaching of reading.

The printed book, almost 600 years old now, has always suffered from a fatal
drawback: books can't talk. So books on their own can't teach people a foreign
language, or how to read. But "Foniks" allows a direct link between text and
speech which sure beats holding a book in one hand while negotiating fast wind
buttons with the other.

The effect is empowering and motivating for the learner, and has big
implications for early learners : a 3-year-old already has the motor skills to
manipulate a mouse over large-size text. Watching three-year-olds bring text to
life by making it speak at their command is kind of eerie, I can tell you.

After using Foniks, it seems needlessly hard to go back to a silent, paper book,
where little can be learnt without the presence of a human teacher or a tape.
But in educational terms, Foniks is conservative. Don't expect many Disneyesque
cuties here - just good old solid learning, with a well-organised syllabus
covering all the usual phonics sounds plus many more sounds from phonics'
parent, phonetics. Make no mistake, this course will take you all the way from
total illiterate to sentence-length reader.

The art-work is hardly inspiring (but with some quaint surprises, such as mouse
over the couple to hear their kiss!), and the accents are not everybody's cup of
tea - Educated British, similar to an East coast American accent - but it's my
guess that learners will love the simplicity, transparency and immediacy of this
very effective learning tool for aspiring readers of all ages and
nationalities. I just hope it doesn't put too many teachers out of work.

Technical Remarks:

Mac or PC are OK, IE (preferred) or Netscape with Flash player installed. Your
computer must have sound.
Used in course? Yes